“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

55 Bookish Questions

I saw this on Chrissi‘s blog last week and thought it would be fun.
The questions originated from The Literary Lollipop.

1. Favourite childhood book:
The Märchenmond Series by Wolfgang & Heike Hohlbeing. I haven’t read the English translation (Magic Moon) but it’s very tempting.

186637222. What are you reading right now?
At the time of writing this post – Lobsters by Tom Ellen & Lucy Wilson and True Love Always by Siobhan Curham

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
No, I normally select something that they have on the shelf.

4. Bad book habit:
Snacking while reading.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nothing.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
A kindle, I always defend myself by saying I didn’t buy it. It was given to me. (Technically it was thrown at me :P )

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I normally have one main book, sometimes though I end up with additional reads.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Yes, I read even more.

9.Least favourite book you read this year:
Hmm probably The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

10. Favourite book I’ve read this year:
You can’t have me pick just one. So far there have been 3 books that I loved beyond all others, 2 of which aren’t even out until 1015 so I know I’m very lucky to have read them already. They are (in no particular order)

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
My comfort zone is pretty much anything within MG/YA so hmm not that often. I’ve started reading a few adult titles in the last couple of months.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
See above.

13. Can you read on the bus?
No, not on the train either. Even planes are a bit iffy. :(
(Weirdly boats are fine)

14. Favourite place to read?
My sofa.

15. What’s your policy on book lending?
Having had a couple of bad experiences I’m a lot more hesitant now. I tend to lend to people I know I can trust, that said I lent a book out last year to someone in that catogory and I still haven’t got it back… *sighs*

16. Do you dogear your books?
I wouldn’t dream of it.

17. Do you write notes in the margins of your books?
I repeat: I wouldn’t dream of it.

18. Do you break/crack the spine of your books?
*gasp* Not if I can avoid it.

19. What is your favourite language to read?
English.
I really should read more of my German books but because I review in English I never seem to.

20. What makes you love a book?
When I forgot the world around me. Sometimes that’ll be because of the writing or the character, sometimes it’ll be something to do with the world the author has created.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Either because I like the book or because I think it’s a book that needs to be read. (Mostly they go hand in hand)

22. Favourite genre:
I read a lot of contemporary by default but I think Fairy Tale Retellings

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?):
I’d like to be more into reading Classics but quite often I find them boring.

24. Favourite Biography:
The last autobiography I read was My Story by Pasha Kovalev but I don’t read them often.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? (And, was it actually helpful?)
Can’t remember, I do really want to read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig when it comes out in March 2015.

26. Favourite Cookbook:
Mostly I invent but Food of Japan comes in handy.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year: (fiction or non-fiction):

28. Favourite reading snack:

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience:
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza - I was so excited and ahm… well. Nuff said.

30. How often do you agree with the critics about about a book?
Never bothered checking.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I’m honest about why the book wasn’t for me. As long as I do that I’m fine.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
Japanese!

33. Most intimidating book I’ve read:
This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn by Aidan Chambers (just for because of the size of it)

34. Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin:
The Book Thief – what if I don’t like it?

35. Favourite Poet:
I’ve only read a few, not enough to really pick a favourite.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out from the library at any given time?
None presently but I normally walk out with at least 3.

37. How often do you return books to the library unread?
Hmm occasionally.

38. Favourite fictional character:
Depends entirely on my mood.

39. Favourite fictional villain:
Currently Izanami from The Name of the Blade Series because she’s got a reason to be pissed. I like villains who make sense.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation:
Too many. I never know what I’ll be in the mood for.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading:
I had a phase where I mainly read Manga’s instead of books – now it’s the other way round. Manga’s are SO expensive. I miss them though. :(

42. Name a book you could/would not finish:
Could not: The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman
Would not: Beautiful Disaster by Jaime McGuire

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Hardly anything, I actually normally have the TV or music on. Reading in total silence is alien to me.

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel:
Howl’s Moving Castle (I love both the book and film)

45. Most disappointing film adaptation:
I remember being disappointing by The Prisoner of Azkaban but I think my mistake was re-reading the book the week before I went to see the film.

46. Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time:
I spend about $160 at Books of Wonder while I was in New York this year, but that’s a holiday so it doesn’t really count. Right?

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?:
I will sample read the first couple of pages.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?:
I’m pretty stubborn but the books that have made me give up in the past generally have main characters that wind me up. The he-is-so-beautiful-therefore-it-doesn’t-matter-how-he-treats-me-relationships tend to kill books pretty quickly.

49. Do you like to keep your books organised?:
I have books split between UKYA and international with a #WeNeedDiverseBooks Bookcase in the middle. It’s mostly still in order.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once they’ve been read?:
I hoard… it’s bad. Though ever so often I have a clear-out and I love bookswapping with other bloggers.

51. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding?:
See this post HERE

52. Name a book that made you angry:
Beautiful Disaster by Jaime McGuire

53. A book I didn’t expect to like but did:
Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes

54. A book I expected to like but didn’t:
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

55. Favourite guilt-free guilty pleasure reading:
I love reading MG books at the moment :)

 

That’s all folks!

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21527233How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Historical Fiction inspired Dystopian
I’m inventing genres now ;)

Synopsis: Where Emmeline lives, you cannot love and you cannot leave…

The Council’s rules are strict, but they’re for the good of the settlement in which Emmeline lives. Everyone knows there is nothing but danger the other side of the Wall, and the community must prepare for the freezing winterkill that comes every year.

But Emmeline struggles to be obedient under the Council’s suffocating embrace – especially when she discovers that a Council leader intends to snatch her hand in marriage.

Then Emmeline begins to hear the call of the trees beyond the Wall…

200words (or less) review: This is a beautifully written book. I am thoroughly impressed with Kate A. Boorman because I was enthralled with Winterkill.

Emmeline struggles within her community, she feels judged by those around her because of her grandmothers stain. Emmeline’s mother died when she was young so it’s only her father and her. Accepting Brother Stockham would mean acceptance but Emmeline doesn’t love him.

I was never sure where Kate A. Boorman was going to take the story and the characters (not just Emmeline) are fully development. I was particularly fond of Tom. The relationship between Brother Stockham and Emmeline is really interesting, just like Emmeline my opinion of him kept changing.

Emmeline’s narration is unique. I don’t know any French but Kate A. Boorman weaves explanation/translations into the story so well that you never feel like you don’t know what’s going on.

Winterkill is a book that rewards you with each page. The writing draws you into a picturesque wintery world full of secrets.
Follow the wayward path…

Recommend it?

Absolutely

Expected publication:
September 30th 2014 by Faber & Faber

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7960908How did I get the book?  I bought it.

Genre: Fantasy / Fairy Tales

Synopsis: In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

200words (or less) review: I absolutely adored this book. I’m so mad at myself that I had this sitting on my shelf for nearly two years before I finally got round to reading it – what the hell was wrong with me?!

Grace Lin gave me everything I could want: beautiful writing, lovable characters, captivating storytelling, exquisite world building and those warm fuzzy feelings special books give you. (You know the ones you end up hugging. Don’t pretend it’s only me that does that…)

While I’m convinced that Where The Mountain Meets The Moon would be just as thrilling as a text only book I do think that the art, both the chapter heading and the full colour pictures add something extra special.

I loved the folktales within Minli’s own story, there were a few I had heard before, Grace Lin makes them work together so well. I also loved the message I took from the book and all the other things I’ve previously mentioned.

In short I loved Where The Mountain Meets The Moon.

Recommend it?

Sunshine Star

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20751440How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Previously reviewed:
Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat!

Synopsis: Can you see him? My kitten?
He has eyes big and round
His miaow is so sweet
(but it makes not a sound!)
Imagine him quick!
Have you imagined enough?
Oh, good, you can see him!

It’s Squishy McFluff!

When Mum drags Ava to the supermarket, her invisible cat Squishy McFluff can’t resist coming along, with hilarious, chaotic and surprising results!

Mini review: In Ava and Squishy McFluff’s next adventure they join Ava’s mum on the weekly shopping trip. Poor mum…

Ella Okstad’s artwork works beautifully with Pip Jones’s story. There is a really wonderful rhythm to reading the book and you want to read it out loud, regardless of whether or not you have an audience.

I sympathised a lot with Ava’s mother but am certain that younger readers will adore the mischief Ava and Squishy McFluff get up to. It’s an entertaining read even if you’re technically the adult. ;)

Recommend it?

Absolutely

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks choice is Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read (whether because they think it’s a “you” book or it’s just been generally recommended so often).

Because I love dance

The Hit List by Nikki Urang (@mariekeyn)
Pointe by Brandy Colbert (@mariekeyn)

Magical Stories

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu (ChrissiReads)
The Book of Heroes by Miyuki Miyabe (@SWritesBooks)
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough (@mariekeyn)

The awesome

Behind The Scenes by Dahlia Adler (@mariekeyn)
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Bibliobeth)

Recommended all the time

by pretty much everyone I know.
When I admit I haven’t read any of these books I get “What?! You HAVE to!”

maloriecover1

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Noughts & Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman

What book recommendations do you get?

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21396262How did I get the book? Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Gothic / (Historical) Fantasy

Previously reviewed:
Heap House

Synopsis: Foulsham, London’s great filth repository, is bursting at the seams. The walls that keep the muck in are buckling, rubbish is spilling over the top, back into the city that it came from. In the Iremonger family offices, Grandfather Umbitt Iremonger broods: in his misery and fury at the people of London, he has found a way of making everyday objects assume human shape, and the real people into objects.

Abandoned in the depths of the Heaps, Lucy Pennant has been rescued by a terrifying creature, Binadit Iremonger, more animal than human. She is desperate and determined to find Clod. But unbeknownst to her, Clod has become a golden sovereign and ‘lost’. He is being passed as currency from hand to hand all around Foulsham, and yet everywhere people are searching for him, desperate to get hold of this dangerous Iremonger, who, it is believed, has the power to bring the mighty Umbitt down.

But all around the city, things, everyday things, are twitching into life…

200words (or less) review: The sequel to Heap House wasn’t as enthralling as Clod and Lucy’s first adventure. I’m still very much fascinated by the world Edward Carey has created and I love the artwork that comes with the book* but while I enjoyed Foulsham I didn’t love it.

Lucy is a button lost in the Heaps while Clod (now a golden sovereign) has been exchanged for food by his once bath plug James Henry Hayward. At this point I probably should say that the Heap House trilogy requires reading in order. I don’t think you could follow the story if you skipped book 1 but the first book is excellent – so you should really read it. :)

Once Clod and Lucy recover from being objects I liked the story a lot more. The narration returns to being split between the two main protagonists instead of multiple characters which I think was part of the reason I didn’t enjoy the beginning as much. As a reader I already have a connection with Lucy and Clod.

Foulsham sets up the final book in The Iremonger Trilogy yet still provides you with a complete and intricate story. I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion.

Recommend it?

Yes

* Visually these are the kind of books you instantly want to pick of a shelf in shop, they are beautifully made.

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Stacking the Shelves #74

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to show what books you’ve added to your library in the past 7 days. These can be bought books, borrowed, review copies, any which way they come to you.

For Review

18774745

Fifteen Bones by R.J. Morgan
Received from author :)

A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
Gutenberg’s Apprentice: A Novel by Alix Christie
Thank you Bookbridgr

 

Edelweiss

Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb & Gilbert Ford
The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
Little Peach by Peggy Kern
Thank you HarperCollins

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Thank you Balzer + Bray

The Unicorn Hunter by Che Golden
Thank you Quercus

Looking for Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup
Thank you Engine Books

Netgalley

cover46969-mediumVirgin by Radhika Sanghani
Thank you Harlequin (UK) Limited

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